Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Day Of Spectacular Explosions!

Today is the 4th of July, the day when U.S. citizens mark the marvel of our Independence from England in 1776. And, of course, the best way to celebrate the magnificent glory of our honorable and valiant forefathers is to consume copious quantities of cheap beer, eat badly-cooked hamburgers and hot dogs, go mostly-naked at local swimming holes, and shoot off large amounts of colorful explosives.

Watch out, though. Fireworks might be capable of causing seizures:

Has anyone actually HAD a seizure from watching fireworks? Um, well, no, says the author, but it COULD happen, especially if you or your family are prone to epilepsy. Just keep one eye closed during the show and I'm sure you'll be fine.

One might argue that the best way to observe the holiday would be to read Thomas Paine's Common Sense, the relatively quick reading Declaration of Independence, the much longer Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. You haven't read all of these all the way through? Don't worry, you're in good company.

I guess one could also argue the best way to get into the spirit of Independence would be to rise up against the ruling power and wage a guerilla war, a la George Washington. Sure, most people wouldn't be in favor of it, but then most citizens of the early American colonies weren't in favor of rising up against the British, either, at least early on.

Okay, so maybe armed warfare is a bit extreme, but how about just being a tad more politically active? A letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or a letter to your local senator, stating your opinion on some important topic you feel strongly about is a good first step toward changing your society for the better. There's nothing more uniquely American than exercising your right to free speech and governmental representation. Of course, that assumes you actually HAVE an opinion on some important topic worth sharing.

I had a letter to the editor published just two days ago in my small-town newspaper, speaking out against the potential of allowing a "big box" store, like Wal-Mart, to come to our town. It took all of a little thought, 10 minutes to write, and a moment to email off to the newspaper. You can do such a thing too, right?

So how am I going to celebrate? You guessed it. Grilled food, friends, and large, spectacular explosives. I'll just be sure to close one eye during the flashes.

Happy Fourth of July!

Image taken from HERE.

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